Jute farmers in Thakurgaon and Panchagarh are expecting good production of the fibre and its fair prices in the local markets this season, although they faced some problems at the initial stage of the cultivation season due to excessive untimely rain.
The rain hampered germination of seeds and proper growth of the plants. It also caused reduction of the cultivation target in the two districts this season.
The growers successfully overcame the situation by taking additional measures as per instructions of the agro-officials and experts, resulting in good yield.
Now, the jute farmers are busy cutting and processing the crop in the two northern districts as harvesting is going on in full swing.
Jute was cultivated on 5,710 hectares of land against the target of 8,910 hectares, with production target of 97,790 bales (1 bale=182 kg) in Thakurgaon, said Thakurgaon Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Deputy Director (DD) Aftab Ahmed.
In Panchagarh, the farmers cultivated jute on 10,925 hectares of land against the target of 13,810 hectares, with production target of 1,47,313 bales, said Panchagarh DAE DD Shamsul Huq.
Tosha variety of jute covered around 80 percent of cultivated land in the districts and local variety covered around 20 percent, and the quality of the jute is good, farmers and the DAE officials said.
During a recent visit to different villages in the districts, this correspondent saw jute growers busy cutting the plants and preparing to process the produce.
Raw jute is being sold for Tk 1,700 to Tk 1,800 per maund (1 maund = 40 kg) in the markets of the two districts this season, depending on quality. The market price of jute is higher than the previous year in the harvesting season, according to market sources.
Humayun Khaled, production manager of GEM Jute Mills in Panchagarh, told this correspondent over cellphone that raw jute is purchased at their purchasing centre for Tk 1,750 per maund, but they are yet to get good response from growers.
Dulal Chandra Barman, 38, of Dakkhin Bathina village in Thakurgaon Sadar upazila, told this correspondent that he cultivated jute on one bigha (one bigha = 0.3306 acre) of land and hoped to get 10 to 11 maunds of raw jute.
Idris Ali, 48, of Baragaon village said he cultivated jute on one bigha of land and got 10 maunds of yield.
Momtajur Rahman, a jute trader of Moidandighi Bazar, told this correspondent that raw jute is being sold for Tk 1,700 to Tk 1,800 per maund now. The price will increase as production of the crop is lower than the previous year due to less cultivation.
DD of Thakurgaon DAE said although the farmers faced adverse situation during the sowing period, they overcame it by working hard and taking instructions from agro-officials.
He said cultivation area is lower than the previous year, but production is good and farmers are getting good price.